Park Slope Tourists

June 28, 2009

My parents came into town today for a visit, they will be here until Wednesday and we are very excited!  We spent the day exploring my ‘hood and everyone had a great time.  I will say in advance that there were a lot of indulgences!  It is way too late, once again, so this is a pretty cursory review.

I started my morning off right with this fellow –

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A small green juice from a spot on Flatbrush.  I had them add carrot to this and it was very, very tasty.

My parents, being islanders and all, were very excited to hit up Target so that was our first stop.  While we were there we got “brunch” at Buffalo Wild Wings (no, this was obviously not a spot we needed to show off, but my mom and dad couldn’t eat on the plane and food was a necessity).  I got the naked tenders.

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They came with blue cheese, honey bbq, and potato wedges.

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I ate 3 out of 4 pieces of chicken and gobbled up the fries.  I love that NY menus post calories, there is no way I would have guessed that what I ate had only about 350calories.

From there we hit up the farmers market at Prospect Park.

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 My parents loved it here!  We bought macaroons to munch while we walked around,

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and the four of us split a strawberry cider.

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Next up, we went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

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We had a great time walking around.  The coolest exhibit was called “Wicked Plants,” and it showcased plants that are psychotropic, deadly, or illegal.  It was a lot of fun.

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After that we headed to my apartment so my parents could check the place out (they are staying in a hotel, it works for my girlfriends to stay in one room with us, but my mom and dad wanted space!).  I was very happy to share a big sampling of Newman’s Own Organics with them – they were very excited about it 🙂

For dinner we wanted to stay local so we went to Perch, a fun spot on 5th.

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We did a lot of sharing so my portions are not very clear, but you can assume I had more than my fair share!  They brought homemade bagel chips to the table as soon as we sat down.

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I ordered a Bloody Mary to drink.

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I’ve only had this at brunch but I feel like they can rock it at dinner, I love the spiciness.

We split the beer and cheese fondue wolaver’s organic brown ale, sharp cheddar

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It came with bread chunks and apple slices and was absolute perfection!

We also split the most amazing salad I’ve ever had.

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It was Waldorf inspired and had apples, buttermilk dressing, candied nuts and grapes.

I felt the need to extend the cheesiness to my entree (not a good idea) and I ordered the mac and cheese blend of grueyere, cheddar, blue cheese, and green onions.

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It was good but cheese followed by cheese was just too much for me, I only ate about 1/3.  I shared some big bites of everyone’s sandwiches too.

I ralied in time for dessert and ordered the maple ginger bread pudding.

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It wasn’t all that good, it was much more like a loaf of bread then a pudding, but I was pretty buzzed and self-control flew out the window.  I ate about 1/2 and gave myself a tummy ache.

A and I walked my parents back to their hotel and then made a treck (1.5miles) to the movie theatres.  I don’t know what was worse, the fact that Transformers sucked so badly or that I polished off this medium popcorn without any help from A.

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Yuck, all around.

And, once again, it is time for a late late bedtime.  Hasta!

What bad movies have you seen lately?

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Done and Drogging!

June 27, 2009

Hola chicas y chicos!  I realize this is a twofer post, but it is also a midnight wasted post, so it will be a quickie.

Thursday was pretty un-monumental.  I ate a KIND Bar as my train breakfast.

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KIND Bars always make me happy.

The school day was a little weird, the kids were getting so tired of doing nothing.  A lot of people were watching a movie in Mr. S’s room and my girls class came in and was like “we cleaned up and played that game (Scattegories) in Ms. Wax’s room, can we do that again?!?”  Midway through the day we ended up going to an Anti-Violence Parade.  It was totally non-related to violence or the lack of violence but there was food and performances.  I couldn’t eat the burgers and hot dogs but one of my students bought me an (unphotographed) icee that made me pretty happy 🙂

For my non-mammal-on-the-grill lunch I came inside and ate this Asian-Style Potstickers Lean Cuisine.

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I’ve decided that I only like frozen “diet” meals when they are Asian inspired.

The rest of the day was pretty random.  A went out with his co-workers and I hung out at home and vegged.  I ate some snacks but never officially did dinner.  I had 3 of these.

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And 1C of KashiHeart to Heart Blueberry with vanilla hempmilk.

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I bought this Living Harvest Hemp Milk after hearing blogger raves but I wasn’t all that impressed, it was a little too sweet for my liking.

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I also made a 3T serving of paperbag popcorn.

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Now Friday, however, is when the fun started!  Today was finally, officially, my last day of teaching.  It was a little bittersweet because as excited as I am about going back to school and starting a new profession it’s odd to think about not teaching any more.  I had said most of my goodbyes to students earlier in the week so I didn’t have to shed too many tears about that.

{I will say, I shed some tears right now: I wrote a mega post that somehow got erased and my rewrite will be nowhere near as insightful}

I didn’t eat any breakfast but I was very excited to eat my last lunch from the pizza spot across the street from the school.

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Goodbye East New York food!

The kids were dismissed at 10:30 and then things got a bit ridiculous.  We got called in to a staff meeting for which the entire purpose was to scream at the teachers.  Our principal got back the results of a DOE survey on which she and the school got very poor scores – she was pissed.  She screamed at us for more than an hour.  In addition to several other things, she said that even though we usually get out early on the last day she was holding us until 3 as punishment.

After she left some older staff members continued to scream for another hour.  Some of the things that were said were just shocking – there was so much anger and inappropriateness.  The newer teachers were shocked, Ms. N actually left the room and Mr. H said he felt like he was going to throw up.  One of the issues is that the school got very poor ratings on school safety and the screamers were beyond aggressive in saying that people were wrong.  There main points were a) things are a lot better than they used to be; and b) the kids aren’t “that bad” and it is pathetic that adults would feel unsafe.  I’m going to address those points really quickly.

A) It doesn’t matter if things are better, if they are not ok they are not ok.  You can not and should not lower your standards just because there has been a slight improvement.  I get that the kids used to light the bulletin boards on fire, that was a problem.  However, the lack of flaming bulletin boards does not a safe school make.  At least 2 times a week at least 5 students would come to school in the middle of the day, stoned as hell, and wander the hallways messing with other students.  That is unacceptable.

B) In spite of my experiences (for example: a male student getting an inch from my face and screaming that he would f*cking kill me.  Or another student bashing my face into a wall) I do NOT feel unsafe.  When it comes down to it, I am an adult and they are children.  However, when I filled out the survey I wasn’t thinking about my safety, I was thinking about student safety (funny, I thought that’s what we all were worried about?!).  It is not safe that in our middle school we have many 16year oldsrunning around and terrorizing 12year olds.  Bullying is unacceptable and it is rampant in our school.

Anywho, Moving on to happier things!  Both administrators gave me a hug and told me I did a great job and my principal told me I have a job waiting for me whenever I want it.  And after that we got wasted 🙂 Ms. M organized an escape celebration for me and I couldn’t be more grateful.  A group of us that were close went to Franklin Park Bar in Prospect Heights.

I started with a Franklin lemonade, which was delish.

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And then I made people do a round of Knob Creek shots.

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And then I did another shot (alongside a too sweet mojito that I handed off after 1sip).

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And then I had a pear cider.

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And another.

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And I also had a final shot that I was definitely not able to photograph.  I had a great time but I was definitely only semi-functional at that point and I very much appreciate Ms. M for driving.  I managed to get a pic of part of our group.

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I love (some of) my coworkers!

Afterwards a smaller group of us headed to a diner in my ‘hood because every one wanted shakes and burgers.  I got a black and white milkshake.

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It was good but A showed up and drank most of it.  I also got a turkey burger.

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The fries were for Ms. N, I didn’t have any, and I had about half of the burger with A.

After my coworkers split A and I went down to 5thAvenue to meet up with my friend Lana (from Williamsburg).  Her bf was dj’ing and we went to watch.  I had a great time catching up, but definitely didn’t do any more drinking!  Apparently Lana has been reading my blog, so that is exciting – Hi Lan!

Afterwards A and I did a long walk home and stopped in at a grocery store.  I picked up my favorite frozen food ever.

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This veggie pad thai seriously rocks so hard, it is fantastic.

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And now it is beyond time for bed.  It was a great, great day, I feel very blessed.  I am also excited because my parents are coming into town for a visit tomorrow, see ya then!

What was your favorite job to quit?  How did the last day go?


False Starts and Street Fairs

June 22, 2009

I took such a long weekend it’s hard to believe I have to go back to school tomorrow!  Today was a great day to end the fun though.  Somehow this morning I managed to convince A to go to a 9:30am spin class with me at Crunch.  I wanted to be well energized so I ate a spoon of TJ’s Sun Butter,

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and a Sugar Free Red Bull before I left the house.

Things seemed good, we signed up for seats at the front desk and I went to the locker room while A went to claim our bikes.  When a woman told him she had my bike # he (politely) made her go back downstairs to check.  At this point I came in, along with 20 other people.  To make a long story short – we signed up on the wrong sheet.  Not only did we make the woman recheck, there were no bikes at all and we had to slink out of the full room feeling like assholes.  We felt so silly we didn’t even do a secondary workout, just went home!  I felt bad about missing the work out but as I write this post my legs are still on fire from Physique57 so I guess it’s actually a good thing 🙂

After the comedy club yesterday and the gym todayI thought I was doomed but somehow I did manage to make it to brunch today on time and intact!  I met up with a small group of blogger at Jane in Soho.

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The restaurant was adorable and it was great getting to catch up.  I ate a tiny chunk of bread with fruit butter.

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And since a cocktail came with brunch I tried the Bloody Mary.  [for which I have no picture]  It was spicy!  You could see the chunks of horseradish in it, possibly the best one of these I’ve had.

The menu looked fantastic and I had a hard time choosing.  There were several Benedict variations that all looked good.  I ended up with the Benedict Johnny.

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Poached eggs, maple chicken sausage, corn pancakes, roasted tomato hollandaise.  It came with hash browns and I ordered the sauce on the side.

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Delish!  Poached eggs are my favorite and these were very well done.  When I quit eating red meat, sausage was one of the few things I missed and this chicken sausage tasted exactly like what I remember from my childhood!  I left half of the bread and the potatoes but demolished the rest.

Once I split with the girls I headed to the next fun activity – a Park Slope Street Fair!  I’ve been excited about this for weeks and the experience did not disapoint.  A and I bought some foodie mini magnets.

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And we each got a fun t-shirt.

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We saw some live performances.

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And I got a coconut bubble tea.

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I abandoned the tea halfway through in favor of splitting a Brooklyn Summer Ale with A.

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So fun!  There was so much food that I was glad I had already eaten, it would have been impossible to choose!  The fair ran from 14th – Flatbrush so it was a nice long stroll.

Afterwards A and I extended the walk and explored the outer edges of our ‘hood a bit.  At some point we split a Cappachino Cooler from Baskin Robbins.

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We only bought this because we had to buy something (A had to use the bathroom) and this had the least amount of calories (210) but it was actually pretty tasty.

After some errands and blog tasks (I have a surprise later this week!) we made a quick dinner.  We made a grown up kiddie meal spin with this stuff.

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We added 1C of collard greens to the mac during the last few minutes of cooking.  My bowl.

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Looking back on the day I consumed way too many liquid calories (especailly for not drinking much booze), which is why I was still hungry after dinner.  Which is also why I got suckered in by a small (unphotographed) bag of popcorn when I went to the movies with A. 

It is an interesting school day tomorrow, I will see you all then!


Fish and a Movie

June 15, 2009

It is obviously quite late so I will try to make this a quickie (hehe).  A and I had a good walk finish our errands.  I even took a shot of my tootsies because the fabulousness of the Chanel nail polish my mommy gave me needs to be shown.

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When we got home we got down to dinner making.  My father and I have been talking about cooking fish (my parents’ new routine is fish every Sunday) and he generously offered to have A and me use his credit card to buy some.

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Mahi Mahi is my favorite fish other than salmon.  We were hungry so we did things quickly.  First we did a three minute marinade,

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2T mayo, juice from 1lime, and a big sprinkle of paprika.  Then A cooked it on the stove top for about 8 minutes, delish.

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We also had oven roasted asparagus,

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and sweet potato with Smart Balance Light.

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All together.

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It was a really nice meal – thanks dad!  I had a small glass of A’s beer too.

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Our big after dinner plan was gelato that my girlfriends left but we had the fun discovery that our freezer had completely defrosted – woo who!  So we went to the movies instead 🙂  We saw The Hangover which 100% rocked my socks.  While we watched I had a regular sized Jr Mints (as in not movie biggie sized) that I bought at Staples today,

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and 2 handfuls of caramel corn.

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I like having small hands, my palm can’t physically hold more than a .5C serving.

And now it is totes time for bed – peace!


Big Apple Rainstorm

June 13, 2009

When I woke up this morning I felt so tired I told A I could stay in bed until 5 – looking back that might have been the better idea!  We had a fun day but things weren’t quite working out for us.

I’m not gonna lie – the first thing I ate today was Ruffles potato chips, unphotographed, straight from the bag.  Then we headed up to the city to hit up the Big Apple Bbq.  On the way we stopped at Dizzy’s and got a lemonade to split.

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There were TONS of people at the park, and live music. 

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I had a few sips of A’s apple cider.

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We had a good time people watching but discovered that there was NO chicken at the event, so my dreams of a pulled chicken sandwich were not going to happen.  A was not happy about being pushed (he had a questionable mole removed from his back this week and has stitches) so we decided to split.  No soon did we leave the park then it started to rain!

We ducked into the spot across the street and discovered a fresh juice bar.

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I got carrot, spinach, and pineapple.   I thought this was delicious, maybe I can be a real blogger after all!  As we walked down the street we spotted Punch which looked fun,

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so we went inside for the brunch menu.  They brought a basket of bread/muffins to the table,

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and our meal came with drinks.

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I got a Bloody Mary, and salmon eggs benedict with the sauce on the side.

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I wasn’t really feeling this meal, I ended up only eating half of everything (incudling the drink and the hollandaise).  I was pretty hungry still as we hurried to the subway through the rain.  I ended up eating another serving of chips when I got home.

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At least this time they weren’t straight from the bag!

We have low key plans for tonight (and know to bring our umbrellas!) so hopefully this evening will work out a little better!

What is your favorite bbq food?  I really liked pulled chicken sandwiches but feel like you can’t find them anywhere.


Best Ever

June 10, 2009

I know I said I would be doing full recaps while my friends were in town but I got a little overwhelmed the last two days.  As I predicted I’ve been a little bit under the weather (not that it slowed my eating any!).  All in all my friends had a fabulous visit.  In addition to the fun you all saw, we also went to lunch at Serendipity, watched Up, had dinner with K’s family, and went to Museum Mile.

This morning K and C me up bright and early at 5am since their cab was coming for a 5:30 pick up.  I had plans of enjoying an early morning and eating breakfast and home but the minute they were out the door I was back in bed!  I found my train breakfast just as pleasing 🙂

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Peanut Toffee Buzz Clif Bars are just as good as leisurely breakfasts at home.

Lunch had a fruity, summery theme.  A baggie of seedless green grapes,

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a Kashi Cherry Dark Chocolate Bar,

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and a new seasonal Dannon Light and Fit flavor – Watermelon!

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I almost always prefer plain Greek but this flavor was too fun to pass up!

Lunch was a nice “end” to the day!  I taught the first four periods straight and then on Wednesdays I have lunch 5th period because we have a common prep period 6th.  Well today we had a Lunch and Learn (i.e. nothing) so I was excused from common prep.  And 7th and 8th period we did graduation activities so there were no classes.  A few fun facts –

  1. We are spending 10 full 45minute periods on graduation practice over the next 2 weeks.
  2. My students graduate Monday, June 22.  School does not end until Friday, June 26.
  3. In my mixed class of 30 6 students are graduating.  The other 24 are attending summer school (and 3 of those students will actually be repeating 8th grade next year).

Is that not all ridiculous?  Their science teacher and I are throwing a lunch party for those 6 this week.

I stayed after school to change my hallway bulletin board and headed home around 5 to run some errands.  I met up with A and we weren’t in the mood to end our visitors=vacation feeling so we went out to dinner!  We went back to one of our favorite spots, Stone Park Cafe.

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We were in a fun mood, we ordered drinks and appetizers.  I got a passionfruit champagne cocktail.

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I’m not going to lie, I was a wee bit tipsy after just this one drink.  It was delicious, passionfruit is such a nice tropical flavor.  We sat outside for a little bit but finally got chilled indoors, what has been with this weather lately?!

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For our appetizer A and I split the Knuckle Sandwich tempura lobster “knuckles,” house made potato roll, yuza chipotle dressing.

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The picture shows half.  I actually ate mine with a knife and fork since I skipped the bun in lieu of this.

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The bread at this restaurant is so wonderful, this mini baguette tasted like sourdough,  my favorite.  I ate this x2 (I told you the drink was kicking in!) with real butter.

My entree choice was the Pan Seared Diver Scallops with rock shrimp, fava beans, asparagus risotto, and lobster beurre.

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This was amazing.  The risotto and nice and creamy, and I didn’t actually get any fava beans, but the scallops were the best I’ve ever had.  They were cooked to perfection, crispy outside with a nice amount of give, and the sauce was the perfect accompaniment. 

I shared 3/4 of a scallop with A and we decided this was one of the best meals we’ve ever eaten.  I would say it was the best thing I’ve ever eaten, except that if I’m honest about my tastes I would have to choose one of the Pad See Eiw dishes I’ve eaten as my favorite meal ever.  A thought this was second only to the roast beef served at our wedding (when asked what the best thing about our wedding was his answer, with zero hesitation, is the roast beef). 

If you ever are in Park Slope I highly recommend making a visit to Stone Park Cafe.  We even got mini meringues with the bill.

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After dinner we came home and relaxed.  I spent a little time catching up on food blogs and I finally wrote my plans for the rest of the week.  Now it’s time for bed so maybe I will actually get my cereal tomorrow!

What was the best meal you’ve ever eaten?  Give details!


Sunday Side Up

June 8, 2009

Sunday night was our “going out night,” which clearly had something to do with why I didn’t post last night!  I actually didn’t drink very much, but I’m feeling a little sick this morning so I think there is something up with my stomach.  Yesterday was the best New York spring day.  Everything was just so wonderful, I got pretty choked up when I thought about moving away.

Sunday morning A worked on his ‘Husband of the Year’ award by making breakfast for my friends and I.

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I was served 2 eggs sunny side up with toast with SmartBalance.  It was very yummy – A makes the best eggs.

After breakfast we headed out to do some NY exploring – we met up with some of K’s family in China Town!  Our first stop had to be bubble tea.

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I got a strawberry milk tea with bobba,

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delish!  We had a pretty great walk, we looped through China Town to Little Italy and finally into SoHo.  I took my first trip to the pearl trading company and feel in love – I even got some gifts for some of my fellow Brooklyn bloggers.

I took them to Economy Candy so they could get some gifts and then I continued to spread the obsession by showing everyone Sugar Sweet Sunshine.  You know I got a pistachio cupcake!

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Seriously, I don’t even like cupcakes, but this might be my favorite dessert of all time.

Then it was time to head home and change for dinner.  K’s cousin lives in Williamsburg so we headed there for dinner and drinks.  We did dinner at Planet Thailand (where the first blogger meet up was).  I loved the way they incorporated beer bottles into the bar decor –

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For my dinner drink I got a Dirty Jolly Rancher.

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And to eat, Pad See Eiw.

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I subsituted vegetarian duck for beef.  Somehow my drink had really kicked in and I was so tipsy by the time dinner came that I devoured the entire plate and felt very ill.  I ended up getting a diet coke at our next stop – Alligator Lounge.  But I did eat two slices of mini pizza.

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Alligator Lounge gives you a free mini pizza with every drink you order!  Our next stop was even better though – Barcade.  1.  The outside wall is a mural made of beer bottle tops.

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2. There is a Space Invaders scene in the bottle tops.

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3. The reason for the Space Invaders is because Barcade is stocked with tons of old video arcade games!A caught a shot of me rocking out Tetris.

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I also got my butt kicked in Quebert, Dig Dug, and several others.  All while enjoying an Abita Turbodog.

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Abita Strawberry will always be my favorite, but for a dark beer this was pretty darn good!

We came home and crashed and today – I’m late and I’ve got to run, See Ya!